Audiophile Essentials

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 13, 2008  |  First Published: May 14, 2008  |  0 comments
A few nights ago, I listened to mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of J.S. Bach's great solo cantata, "Ich habe genug" (It is enough), BWV 82 (Nonesuch 79692-2). Hunt Lieberson was one of those rare mezzos, like Janet Baker and Kathleen Ferrier before her, whose voice conveyed an innately spiritual sense of connection with something greater than the individual self. Especially when she sang softly, she was able to imbue her tone with a hallowed reverence that is easier to feel than describe in words. To the extent that anyone can communicate the "tender mercies" and sacred intimacies of life, love, and spirit, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson proved herself a master.
John Atkinson  |  Dec 10, 2007  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1994  |  0 comments
Have you noticed how developed the art of the high-end put-down has become?
Robert Harley  |  Oct 24, 2007  |  First Published: Dec 02, 1996  |  0 comments
"If the midrange isn't right, nothing else matters." Stereophile founder J. Gordon Holt's decades-old observation of the musical importance of the midrange has become a truism cast in stone. Gordon's other famous observation, "The better the sound, the worse the measurements," was made only partially in jest.
John Atkinson  |  Sep 09, 2007  |  First Published: Nov 09, 1994  |  1 comments
If there's a phrase that increasingly gets my dander up, it's "mid-fi." I'm even starting to lose patience with the term "High End."
Wes Phillips  |  Aug 11, 2007  |  0 comments
Back on April 13, Stereophile assistant editor Stephen Mejias posted the following thought on his "Elements of Our Enthusiasm" blog: "Is it possible to listen to music and listen to the hi-fi? Or are they two entirely different activities, incomparable and incompatible? Right now, for me, they seem to have nothing in common, whatsoever."
Barry Willis  |  Jul 19, 2007  |  First Published: Jul 01, 1997  |  0 comments
Dear High-End Dealer,
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 15, 2007  |  0 comments
A fellow member of the Bay Area Audiophile Society recently forwarded to me a link to Wikipedia's entry for audiophile. It's a horror. Even before the page defines the word, it begins with a large question mark, circled in green, and the warning, "This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. Please help Wikipedia by adding references."
Barry Willis  |  Jul 13, 2007  |  First Published: Jan 01, 1998  |  0 comments
Stadium rock is my idea of the inner circle of Hell. I hate crowds. I have zero interest in the rich and famous. And I've never been much of a Rolling Stones fan. Give me a choice, and I'll take Weslia Whitfield at the Plush Room 10 times out of 10: a cushy seat, some witty companions, a little Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Heavenly.
Jim Austin  |  May 13, 2007  |  0 comments
For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.—Friedrich Nietzsche
Art Dudley  |  Dec 11, 2005  |  0 comments
The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real.—Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
Art Dudley  |  Apr 04, 2004  |  First Published: Nov 01, 1998  |  0 comments
It was the subhead that caught my eye: "Today's super-rich just don't seem interested in $300,000 stereos." Clunky writing, sure. But at least it gave some idea of what the next 2000 words were about, and spared the pain of having to read further.
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 26, 2002  |  0 comments
Where do audiophiles come from?
Barry Willis  |  Nov 18, 2001  |  0 comments
Every once in a while, some mainstream journalist discovers the audiophile underground.
Chip Stern  |  Jul 16, 2000  |  0 comments
As often as not, it ain't the heat—it's the stupidity. When confronted by the smattering of self-referential dilettantes, acrimonious Internut wannabes, and obsessive-compulsive types who suck the air out of our aural fun-house, I find myself overcome with the desire to program my phaser for CLIP.
Barry Willis  |  Apr 30, 1999  |  0 comments
The night after we got home from the 1999 Consumer Electronics Show in January—see the report in this issue—my dear companion and I attended a performance of Madama Butterfly at San Francisco's beautifully refurbished War Memorial Opera House. It was a Tuesday evening, traditionally a big event for the Opera's benefactors. From our box seats, we had an excellent view of a production musically sumptuous and visually austere—and of a sea of gray and balding heads.

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